Saturday, April 22, 2006

Citrus Peel Waste a Potential Source of Ethanol

Thanks to recent hikes in gasoline prices, there is a renewed interest in finding a cheaper way to fill up the gas tank. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Citrus and Subtropical Products Laboratory in Winter Haven, Fla. have been working on a potential substitute: citrus peels.

In 1992, Karel Grohmann, then research leader of the Winter Haven lab, began researching the feasibility of converting citrus peel waste into fuel ethanol. Citrus waste materials are rich in pectin, cellulose and hemicellusic polysaccharides, which can be hydrolyzed into sugars and fermented into alcohol.

Most of this dried peel residue--a total of 1.2 million tons annually in Florida alone--is currently marketed as low-value cattle feed, despite its relatively high processing cost.In 2004, Bill Widmer, an ARS chemist at Winter Haven, picked up where Grohmann left off, with the help of a cooperative research and development agreement partner, Renewable Spirits LLC of Delray Beach, Fla.

Widmer and his scientific team first modified the process to substantially reduce the amount of enzyme required to convert the citrus waste carbohydrates to sugars and ethanol.

Now the process shows economic promise for large-volume production.Beginning with the one-quart-to-one-gallon laboratory process developed by Grohmann, the process was modified to work at 10-gallon, 100-gallon and 1,000-gallon batch levels.

A 10,000-gallon pilot facility is currently under construction, and should be finished by sometime this year. With further research, according to Widmer, Florida's citrus peel waste could yield up to 80 million gallons of ethanol per year.


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AGRI-INFO/APRIL 22, 2006


TITLE: CITRUS PEEL WASTE A POTENTIAL SOURCE OF ETHANOL


ALAM BA NINYO NA MAGING ANG BALAT NG CITRUS AY MAAARI NA RING PAGKUNAN NG ENERHIYA PARA UMANDAR ANG MGA SASAKYAN?

ITO AY SA PAMAMAGITAN NG ETHANOL NA MAAARING MAKUHA SA MGA BALAT NG CITRUS.

NOON PANG TAONG 1992, SINIMULANG SALIKSIKIN NI KAREL GROHMANN ANG POSIBILIDAD NA MA-CONVERT ANG CITRUS PEEL WASTE SA FUEL ETHANOL.

NATUKLASAN NI GROHMANN NA ANG CITRUS WASTE MATERIALS AY MAYAMAN SA PECTIN, CELLULOSE AT HEMICELLUSIC POLYSACCHARIDES.

ANG MGA NABANGGIT NA ITO AY MAAARING MA-HYDROLYZED AT MAGING ASUKAL, AT SAKA ITO ISASAILALIM SA FERMENTATION PARA MAGING ALCOHOL.

ANG PINATUYONG BALAT NG CITURS AY KARANIWANG IBINEBENTA SA MERKADO BILANG CATTLE FEED, NGUNIT KAILANGAN DING SUMAILALIM SA PROSESO.

NITONG 2004, IPINAGPATULOY NI BILL WIDMER, ISANG ARS CHEMIST SA WINTER HAVEN ANG NASIMULAN NI GROHMANN SA TULONG NG COOPERATIVE RESEARCH AT DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT PARTNER NA RENEWABLE SPIRITS LLC NG DELRAY BEACH FLORIDA.

UNANG ISINAGAWA ANG MODIPIKASYON NG PROSESO PARA MABAWASAN ANG DAMI NG ENZYME NA KAILANGAN SA CONVERSION NG CITRUS WASTE CARBOHYDRATES BILANG ASUKAL AT ETHANOL.

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